Study of the traditional approaches to Architecture indicates no attempt to investigate the spirit nor tries to find the feelings between the building and Man's nature. Function, Environment, Technology, Economy, etc. are few of such approaches. Who decides what the function of a Cello is? Function merely means a particular person's task. Does a pianist know what the chemical formula is for the metal alloy used in the strings of Steinway? Why would an architect base his design on the material used in the wall panels when they are so subject to fashion and change? "The only material needed to construct a piece of architecture is Light, Air, and Water." (Malnikov). Environmental approach to architecture could also not be the right approach, because it is based on the greatest variable of nature, weather. All that an architect needs to know exists readily in his mind.
As the outcome of research throughout the years, it is concluded that the only way to approach a true work of Architecture is to let it develop within itself as a process based on a system. Resulted Architecture will be a kind that one would feel and not sense. This approach to architecture I call to be Psychotechnical. Form, a sensual representation of spiritual movements, not sensed by sensual organs, but felt with the soul, is the true Architecture.
Psychotechnical Architecture is a tie between philosophical Art and the Art encompassed in Architecture. The philosophy behind this approach is directly related with the relationship of man and nature, and the nature of man. Probably the most artistic influences to this approach goes back to a short-lived art movement of Suprematism in early 1900's.
One can find the Supremacy of feeling in the architecture in works of: Malnikov, based on his own understanding of the spiritual world, Sharoun, influenced by the German Expressionism and Malevich, Moholy-nagy's few projects, El Lissitzky's suprematistic structures, and even some works of the Fauvist Le corbousier. Of course the true suprematism is found in Kassimir Malevich's own paintings.
"Architecture is not made up from well known recipes and illusions, but rather one that embodies those rare initiations of the unseen but real world of our own feelings." (Malnikov).
"Architecture is an Art in the fullest sense of the world." (Malevich).
"Architectural questions become questions of concern to masses,..., in order to achieve a true work of architecture the whole,..., must come alive as a spatial idea,..., creative effort exerting a definite influence on the human spirit." (El Lissitzky).
"Our lives are a theater piece, in which non-objective feelings are prototyped by objective imagery." (Malevich).
The world, its past and its future, has been a common struggle for man. Almost all religions of the world are based on providing an explanation to this. Many western philosophers tried to reason this phenomena.
Studying eastern philosophy and theory of revolution brought an end to this conflict, providing an entirely different point of view to the issue. It is understood from this philosophy that man was not an external element put into this heaven, but man grew out of it. That there is no matter and it is all energy and form. Form is the way by which we understand the matter. Our thinking process and brain function is not yet evolved enough to provide us with the truth, and all that we do as thinkers is merely an act. The Brain is the most complex of the universe and does all thinking for us without us consciously knowing that happening. Research shows that all we do, including using our sensual organs and thinking is only five percent of the brain activity and the remaining ninety five percent, we have no idea about. Our brain may know things or converse with items which we don't even have names for yet.
Most of us are aware of these brain activities and we give them names such as fifth, sixth,..., senses. Based on this theory, our physical world is a transitional one, very much like music. Music is nothing man can get a hold of, but it exists as a transition of physical properties of a simple string to pure sensation.
As a result, we tend to put the world in a straight line fashion. A boarder line created by rivers and mountains is always followed by the edge; it may be straight or curved. The borderline between countries, the clothes we wear, the gridiron city planning, and even the art and architecture do the same thing. We build houses in a straight line fashion. We call a box, home from which we can hardly wait to get out. What we miss and need to realize is that the real true physical world is formless. Everything happens through a natural process and reflects the qualities of the world we don't know about, the world that our brain and feeling could only understand. Nobody asks why stars are the way they are or mountains or lakes or clouds, because they are a result of a process and the brain already knows that. Even if we try to define their shape, it will be another attempt to make things straight and comprehensible to the limited brain Power, and doing so will destroy the entire essence of the process.
Nature means one of oneself. Nature is not manufactured but grown. A growing ‘thing' goes through a process that gives nature its shapeless form. We cannot call nature chaotic, because our subconscious mind knows its order and it knows that man and nature are one.
There is only one way for man to create without thinking, and it is to let a natural process dictate the creation.
"The only thing as philosophy is ‘Art' that could exist for itself without ‘things'."
"Architecture should be approached in a purely artistic manner, where it becomes an abstraction of thought."
Suprematism is probably the closest Art movement that recognized the essence of existence of the unreal world. Unfortunately, through a series of historical events, they were only few people who got the chance to be exposed to the concept of Suprematism in its true sense. According to Kasimir Malevich, the creator of Suprematism; our conception of reality depends upon the interplay of those elements of reality which, as "they make their appearance are subject to one kind of distortion or another in the mirror of our consciousness, (brain) since our ideas and conception of matter are always distorted images having not the slightest relation to reality." (Non-Objective World, Malevich). Malevich created a Non-Objective world in which every thing was based on supremacy of pure feelings. Malevich wrote a great deal about his ideas, which mainly remained in Russia. Only a small portion of his ideas reached western world, but were enough to change the character of some architects work.
"Man, he battles against a creation of fantasy- and is blind to the perfection of nature." (Malevich).
A Suprematist does not observe and does not touch, he feels. To the Suprematist, the visual phenomena of the objective world are in themselves, meaningless. The significant thing is Feeling. Based on Suprematism, true values arise only from artistic, sub-conscious creation. All "practical" things which become ridiculous in no time are useless.
"Feeling is the determining factor,..., and thus art arrives at non-objective representation at Suprematism." (Malevich).
In short, Malevich opposed any combination of art with utility but also any imitations of nature. The uselessness of works of technology is short-lived, but art endures forever.
A Doric temple is not beautiful today because it once served a religious purpose,... Its forms originated from a pure feeling of plastic proportions and retains its vitality for all time. We are no longer aware of the original purpose of the temple, but we admire it as a work of art. (Malevich).
Learning about Suprematism nurtured by eastern philosophy of life, an architecture was being developed based on a series of progressive steps that would create things out of nothing. The purpose of going through such process is to let the most inner feelings of unconscious mind develop the forms in which the reality of a building is experienced.
Following projects done in the past three years indicates the sequential development of this post-suprematist psychotechtonic approach to Architecture.
PROJECT # 1 - LA Plant
The first project of the series was the most innocent one. The inspiration came from the writings of El Lissitzky and Malevich. A traditional academic approach was pursued. A social concept about the building's purpose was translated into a ‘conceptual' model. To create a Suprematist composition, the sections were cut through the concept model and re-composed. The sections were then viewed and studied from different angles, questioning the accuracy. Following Lissitzky's argument about the absurdity of prespective and studies of delusion of the axiometric world, masses were produced. Dimensions were transformed by means of photography and a final model was built using pictures and models alone.
PROJECT # 2 - Bath House
Project # 1 was successful to cut the hands of the architect off the designing process. The problem was the use of a social concept as the program initiator.
The innocence was to be found, free of any preconceived notion of the brain. As a result, the geometrical properties of the site was used as the program initiator. The composing geometrical figures of the site were rearranged in a way that they would compose another perfect geometrical figures of the same area. Movement of relocation transformation of each geometric figure was traced in the space and became third dimension. Using the characteristics of a water molecule made the connection for the individual volumes to turn into a composition, which later became the building.
PROJECT # 3 - High RiseThe problem with project # 2 was, that a secondary system (water molecule structure) had to be injected into the system, in order to create a composition. Project # 3 solved this problem by using a common conceptual element to address both the site and the building program. Gravity and its perceived forces were the answer. The abstract concept of gravitational force based on the topography of the site developed a space frame model representing the time-warped concept of the space. Programmatic issues were resolved within the process and architect's input to the project was minimized to a degree of labeling and drawing.
PROJECT # 4 - Freeway Museum
As a continuation of project # 3, even the site actual properties were detached from its physical properties. The building purpose became the initiator. The site was enclosed by freeways and streets and had to display freeway related artifacts. Therefore movements of cars surrounding the site were documented and frozen at an interval of one second. A diagram and a model were built based on the information, which provided the site with an ordering system imposed. The resulted grid dictated exactly where each component of the building were to be located with a definite height and spatial relationship.
Any building could be a spiritual one if the trained mind of the architect was to be eliminated from the design process. A Psychotechnical process is the one that creates buildings that could easily be understood by the super-conscious mind and are based on pure "Feelings".
The process could be applied to any project at any site, since it is tailored to just that one particular site and purpose.
PROJECT # 5 - Thesis-Senior Project
An extension to Mount Wilson Observatory, located in the Angeles Crest Mountains at north-east of Los Angeles.
Observatorium: 1. A building or a place given over to or equipped for observation of natural phenomena; also: An institution whose primary purpose is making such observations. 2. A situation, position, or place, (asa building or elevated chamber) affording or commanding a wide view; Look out.
With such high development of optical and space technology as the Hubble telescope, observatories such as Mount Wilson are on a shaky ground. This proposal is to keep this valuable historic piece of science technology alive by extending its scientific facilities and also its social function.
This extension is to be divided into two separate facilities. One will be the science observatorium with more capability for research. The second component of the proposal will be the social activity center. This area will be built in an approximate distance to the science center, and will include spaces such as; a science and technology museum, parks and recreation facilities, hiking and look out points, astronomical sky watching areas and a weekend hotel that will provide visitors with short time living facilities. The elevated position of the site provides an almost ideal observing point from the known (Los Angeles) to the unknown (the universe). Viewing down at the city of Los Angeles will remind the viewer the extent of earth technology. Being in this facility will remind the status of man searching the unknown. And ability to look at the stars at the high elevation will give the viewer the feeling of supremacy and connect them to the unknown.